WASHINGTON – On Monday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill introduced by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to extend 25 temporary bankruptcy judgeships across the country for five years, including all seven temporary judgeships in Delaware. These extensions come at a critical time to ensure bankruptcy courts have the judges necessary to provide relief to companies and their employees facing reorganization the wake of COVID-19.  

The bill was cosponsored by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).

“Businesses and individuals are facing profound financial stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this bipartisan bill will ensure they can go through bankruptcy efficiently,” said Senator Coons. “When they can’t, jobs and revenue are lost. Delaware has earned its reputation for having one of the most highly regarded bankruptcy courts in the country, and this law ensures that our court has the resources it will need to manage pressing caseloads and provide relief to businesses and employees.”

“This legislation will better equip our bankruptcy system, helping courts, businesses and consumers by allowing these cases to be addressed in a timely manner,” said Senator Graham. “I’m glad to see these important changes passed into law.”

“In these challenging times, our legal system shouldn’t be another source of uncertainty for businesses and workers. This common-sense bill will ensure our courts including those in Delaware, have the adequate resources to fairly and expeditiously process bankruptcy cases,” said Senator Tom Carper.  “Specifically, this bill will maintain the number of judgeships in Delaware’s bankruptcy courts, which remain some of the busiest and handle some of the important cases in our country. I thank Senator Coons for his leadership in bringing Republicans and Democrats together to pass this important piece of legislation.”

“As America’s businesses struggle with the challenges of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability for businesses to efficiently reorganize in bankruptcy is critical,” Senator Rubio said. “Any obstacle to resolving these cases is an undue burden for both our judicial system and businesses. This legislation ensures that our courts have the resources necessary to manage these critical caseloads.”

“This legislation will ensure that Marylanders have continuing access to our bankruptcy courts during the ongoing pandemic,” said Senator Cardin. “Congress must provide our courts with the judges and resources they need to serve Maryland companies, employees, and individuals who have been impacted by severe economic challenges.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has put an enormous strain on American businesses and the economy. As we fight to preserve lives, we must also take steps to protect our livelihoods. This legislation will ensure that our bankruptcy courts can provide relief to American businesses and employees to get them back on their feet,” said Senator Blackburn.

The bill previously passed in the Senate on December 9, 2020, and it will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.